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Horses pulling carriages full of tourists in Center City could become a thing of the past.

What’s happening: The animal rights nonprofit Revolution Philadelphia and a pair of donors say they have a plan to usher in the use of electric carriages so that the horses can be retired.

  • Josh Fox of the consulting firm Bottom Line Concepts and Eric Lerner tell Axios they’re offering to pay for electric carriage prototypes, which they expect to cost about $100,000 each, and potentially a future fleet.
  • Fox and Lerner are part of The Brady Hunter Foundation, a nonprofit working to end animal cruelty.

Why it matters: Philly could be the first major metropolitan U.S. city to use electric carriages.

Plus: Horse-drawn carriages have been controversial, with one company closing down in 2017 over animal cruelty concerns and other violations.

Between the lines: A ban on horse-drawn carriages likely requires legislation and the approval of City Council and the mayor. City Councilman Mark Squilla backs replacing horses-drawn vehicles with e-carriages, spokesperson Anne Kelly tells Axios.

A wealthy donor says he has the solution to replacing controversial horse-drawn carriages in Central Park — but will his contraption electrify the imaginations of tourists?

Josh Fox says he will give an electric-carriage prototype to the city in an effort to kickstart the elimination of horse-drawn vehicles, and is willing to spend millions to finance a whole fleet.

“I have been an animal lover and animal freedom fighter since the day I was born,” Fox, a 46-year-old Floridian, told the Post. “I lived in New York City for decades and I got to the point where I couldn’t even go to the Upper West Side and Central Park because it was so painful for me to watch the horses.

“These horses were just miserable and just looked so sad and didn’t belong there. They don’t belong on the streets of Manhattan, with cars and honking and exhaust.”

It’s been eight months since Ryder the carriage horse collapsed in a viral video captured on New York City streets and later died following an illness, but reports of other injured horses taking tourists on rides through Central Park keep coming in. 

At an April 26 rally outside a horse stable on West 38th Street in Midtown Manhattan, long-time horse trainer Michael Petrelli, who is licensed by New York State and the United States Trotting Association, and animal rights activists from NYCLASS and PETA called for the immediate retirement of Lucky and Scott, two senior horses, who they say have been pulling carriages through Manhattan despite extensive injuries.

 

Representatives of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, however, contested the latest allegations, asserting that the equines are being cared for under an array of reforms enacted last year following the Ryder incident. They also voiced opposition to a City Council plan to outlaw the horse carriage industry altogether. 

 

On April 4, Petrelli, who runs the YouTube channel “Harness Horses Uncovered,” claims he witnessed “Lucky” — a 22-year-old former harness racing horse who ran under “Brooklets Bojangle” — pulling a carriage while limping and in pain. He shared his concern with Lucky’s driver, who he alleges disregarded his horse’s distress and went on to pick up another fare. 

Petrelli reported Lucky’s condition to the mayor’s office, and the horse was taken off the street for further examination. He and animal rights activists fear that Lucky didn’t receive proper veterinary care and worry that he might end up in a kill pen.

“It’s just about making money to them [the carriage industry], and the horses come last,” said Petrelli, adding that the horse carriage industry was offered $25,000 from Bottomline Concept CEO Josh Fox for Lucky so he could retire at a humane farm. “Lucky is not the only horse I’ve seen with visible injuries. There are over a dozen other horses I have seen on the streets that have untreated leg and hoof issues.”

Hold your horses! Janet White, director of Carriage Horse Freedom in Philadelphia has been advocating for a city-wide ban of horse-drawn carriages. Recently she purchased an electric horseless carriage to kickstart her mission of making the ban a reality.

For the first time in 50 years, Philly saw the unofficial closure of the last horse drawn carriage. 76 Carriage Company, the city’s last horse & carriage company, emptied their stables setting the dawn of a new era, an animal-friendly one.

Help From The Big Apple

Early April, The Brady Hunter Foundation, a New York City non-profit working to end animal cruelty pledged support to Philly. They promised to purchase electric carriages for Philly. If all goes well, two to three prototypes could be driving down streets this summer.

Additionally, New York City is also working to replace horse-drawn carriages. Outrage sparked on social media in 2022 when a carriage operator was seen repeatedly whipping a dehydrated horse, Ryder, who simply didn’t have the horsepower to keep moving. The carriage company at the time simply stated the operator was following protocol laid out by the city’s department of health.

Philadelphia is in line to be the first city in the United States to roll out electric carriages and eliminate the use of horses once and for all.

Eric Lerner, Chief Operating Officer of Brady Hunter Foundation, and Josh Fox, Executive Director of Brady Hunter Foundation, have offered to provide Philadelphia with electric carriages from creator Alphonso Hernandez Olmo, with a guarantee from City Councilman Mark Squilla to introduce legislation for a ban this year.

According to Lerner, this important move will demonstrate that horses can be retired while also reviving economic opportunities for horse carriage workers.

“All species are created equal. I am so happy to find that the suffering will end for horses in Philadelphia,” Fox said in a statement. “I helped establish the Brady Hunter Foundation to end animal cruelty and protect wildlife, including the removal of horse-drawn carriages across the country. We are excited to work with Councilman Squilla and the Revolution Philadelphia team to introduce this bill and privately finance the removal of horse-drawn carriages.”

Revolution Philadelphiaa nonprofit animal rights organization and Brady Hunter Foundation, met with Councilman Squilla on March 24th to discuss the ongoing problem and an electric carriage prototype for Philadelphia that is already underway.

Looking for a furry friend ? Now’s the perfect time for you to find your match. The Humane Society of Greater Miami is partnering with The Brady Hunter Foundation to “Clear the Shelter,” giving animal lovers a chance to adopt free of charge.

 

The event lasts from today until June 25, from 12pm to 7pm ET at the Soffer and Fine Adoption Center, located at 16101 West Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach.

100% of adoption fees for animals who have been in the shelter for over six months are covered by the partnership. Adopters are only responsible for a $20 microchip fee.

The Brady Hunter Foundation, a non-profit founded by a collective interested in ending animal cruelty and building sanctuaries to protect wildlife worldwide, has donated over $29,000 to the Humane Society of Greater Miami to cover all of the fees.

During the “Clear the Shelter” adoption event sponsored by the Brady Hunter Foundation, three prominent organizations in the Miami area, namely the Humane Society of Greater Miami, Miami-Dade Animal Services, and Broward Animal Care, collaborated to find loving homes for their long-term resident cats and dogs. The event took place at the Soffer and Fine Adoption Center, located at 16101 West Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach. 

Thanks to the sponsorship from the Brady Hunter Foundation, the adoption fees for cats and dogs that had been at the shelter for six months or more were entirely waived. The Brady Hunter Foundation’s incredible contribution, totaling over $29,000, covered these adoption fees, making it easier for potential adopters to welcome a furry companion into their homes.

Through this cohesive effort between the Humane Society of Greater Miami, Miami-Dade Animal Services, and Broward Animal Care, along with the vital support from the Brady Hunter Foundation, numerous cats and dogs found their forever families, bringing joy and happiness to both the animals and their new owners. This event showcased the community’s dedication to animal welfare and exemplified how collaboration and generosity can make a significant impact in creating a better future for shelter animals. 

 

The Brady Hunter Foundation (BHF), a nonprofit founded by a group of philanthropists and animal lovers committed to ending animal cruelty, protecting wildlife, and making a positive impact in the lives of children, has established a scholarship fund in recognition of Juneteenth. Announced alongside New York City Mayor Eric Adams, through this initiative, The Brady Hunter Scholarship Fund aims to empower African American students in New York City and foster diversity within the veterinary field.

The field of veterinary medicine, while playing a crucial role in animal health and welfare, faces a significant shortage of African American representation. This underrepresentation not only hampers diversity within the profession but also limits the opportunities available to African American individuals who aspire to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

The Brady Hunter Foundation (BHF), a nonprofit founded by a group of philanthropists and animal lovers committed to ending animal cruelty, protecting wildlife, and making a positive impact in the lives of children, has established a scholarship fund in recognition of Juneteenth. Announced alongside New York City Mayor Eric Adams, through this initiative, The Brady Hunter Scholarship Fund aims to empower African American students in New York City and foster diversity within the veterinary field.

The field of veterinary medicine, while playing a crucial role in animal health and welfare, faces a significant shortage of African American representation. This underrepresentation not only hampers diversity within the profession but also limits the opportunities available to African American individuals who aspire to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

Hundreds of individuals came together to raise a toast to the exceptional honorees at the prestigious Dan’s Power List event. This gathering was dedicated to recognizing local leaders committed to enhancing the East End community’s quality of life and took place at Giorgio’s in Baiting Hollow. 

Hosted by Schneps Media, the parent company of Dan’s Papers, this celebratory evening served as the ultimate networking opportunity for the honorees and their supporters. Among the distinguished individuals recognized for their outstanding contributions was our very own Executive Director, Josh Fox. He was honored for his visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to making the East End and the world a better place to live, work, and play

 

From business visionaries to philanthropists, each honoree, including Josh Fox, has demonstrated steadfast dedication to driving positive impact in the region. Their contributions have inspired and uplifted the community, leaving a lasting impression on those they serve.

The Brady Hunter Foundation was able to make a generous donation to the South Florida Wildlife Center, bringing hope and healing to injured wildlife in need. 

On any given day, the center receives up to 70 new animals, and their current animal count stands at around 400! With dedication and compassion, the center’s team, treats and nurtures these beautiful creatures like a hospital for wildlife. 

Inspired by the South Florida Wildlife Center’s tireless efforts, we donated a brand-new wildlife ambulance and provided the first year’s salary for a driver.  Now, the center can continue its vital work of providing medical care, diagnostics, and rehabilitation to animals, helping them return to the wild where they belong.

The Brady Hunter Foundation’s heartfelt contribution to the Community-Police Relations Foundation (CPR Foundation) is a powerful testament to our unwavering commitment to animal welfare. This significant donation will empower the CPR Foundation to expand its reach in confronting criminal animal cruelty and providing essential medical care for distressed animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses. Through this partnership, the CPR Foundation will continue its vital work, ensuring that animals receive the care and love they deserve.  

By joining forces with the CPR Foundation, Josh Fox, President, and Founder of The Brady Hunter Foundation, has demonstrated a deep understanding and passion for the cause. His dedication to fighting against cruelty towards animals is evident in this new alliance, as he embraces a role as a CPR Foundation member. 

 The CPR Foundation’s multifaceted approach to fostering safe and prosperous communities across the nation aligns perfectly with The Brady Hunter Foundation’s broader mission. With The Brady Hunter Foundation’s generosity, the CPR Foundation can continue making a profound impact on society, further strengthening the heart of communities through their commitment to animal welfare and societal well-being. 

In an act of cruelty, two-year-old Miracle survived being shot in the head, with the bullet incredibly bypassing vital organs. I Heart Animal Rescue and The Brady Hunter Foundation are uniting to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator behind this heart-wrenching animal cruelty. Miracle’s tenacity in the face of adversity has touched many hearts, highlighting the urgency of addressing such abuses and reinforcing the shared commitment to aiding animals in need.

The Brady Hunter Foundation is thrilled to join forces with Global Strays in an impactful partnership. Over the next 12 months, we’re committed to making a difference by sponsoring the spaying and neutering of 1,250 animals in Bogota, Colombia. Our aim is to address the heart of the issue — overpopulation of suffering homeless animals — by working at the root of the problem.  

Through our collaboration, dedicated teams in Bogota, Colombia are providing spaying, neutering, and essential veterinary care clinics to families and their beloved pets in communities that lack access to these vital services. 

amy-green-footprint-of-life-gal

The Brady Hunter Foundation was thrilled to sponsor the inaugural Footprint of Life Gala in the summer of 2023. Hosted by Amy Green and Gary Green, this star-studded event, organized by the Green Vision Foundation, raised over $600,000 for critical causes. The gala, themed “50 Shades of Green,” supported organizations dedicated to preserving nature, uplifting communities, and advancing African conservation efforts. 

The evening featured cocktails, exquisite food stations, live auctions, and performances by renowned artists. Notable attendees included celebrities and influencers united in their commitment to environmental conservation. 

Sponsored by prominent brands, the gala showcased the power of collaboration. . 

The Brady Hunter Foundation partnered with the Miami Foundation, Miami-Dade County, and Volunteer Cleanup in a monumental effort that resulted in the collection of 22,233 pounds of trash across 58 sites. This significant achievement was made even more special with the gracious presence and support of Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. We are thrilled to announce that, as part of our commitment to environmental preservation, we have donated 50 cents for every pound of trash collected to support the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station. 

This initiative underscores our collective dedication to safeguarding our environment, and it marks just the beginning of our efforts. If you would like to watch the entirety of the video or read the full article, please click “read more”. 

The Brady Hunter Foundation collaborated with Lucky Horse Sanctuary for a “Feel to Heal” event, conducted in partnership with Chapman Partnership. This event brought joy and healing to homeless children in need. Lucky Horse sanctuary, renowned  for its expertise in animal-assisted therapy, played a pivotal role in the event, leveraging the transformative power of human-animal connections, particularly with horses. This distinctive approach proved instrumental in providing invaluable benefits to the children at Chapman Partnership, fostering emotional growth, trust, and empowerment. The Brady Hunter Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to forging meaningful partnerships that positively impact the lives of those who need it most.